An essential part in any “elderly” motorcycle is the ignition system, operated via a “contact breaker” or “breaker points” ignition system. Later motorcycles dispensed through the contact breaker in lieu that electronics, i m sorry we will cover in a later on article.

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The function of the ignition device is come ignite the combustion mixture in each cylinder at the precise time. To achieve this, the adhering to parts listed, and shown in the below diagram are linked together:

Contact breaker ignition mechanism (Harley Davidson)Image from my personal service hands-on collection, diagram of 1959-1978 Harley Davidson Sportster ignition system.
The battery furnishes the electrical energy. The ignition coil and condenser transform the battery present to high tension present which will certainly jump the space in the spark plug. The breaker points opens and closes the primary circuit in ~ the proper time. The spark plug provides the means to fire the air-fuel mixture in the cylinder. The wires attach the components together. The ignition move is offered to prevent the engine.

An important ide needs to be stated. When present moves or flows in a wire, that sets increase a magnetic field approximately the wire. You have the right to concentrate this magnetic field and make it more powerful by winding the wire into a coil. And conversely, once a magnetic field moves, it deserve to “induce” or move a present in a wire.

The “primary” circuit is linked from the battery positive terminal, the main winding in the ignition coil, and to the contact breaker. The camer shown in the chart is linked to the rotating assembly the the engine, so the is permanently “in time” through engine rotation, and therefore the precise position that the pistons and valves within the engine.

The ignition coil is composed of two coils of wire – major and an additional – in ~ the plastic housing. The an additional winding has a an excellent many an ext coils than the main winding. The specific number will be identified by the manufacturer for the specific motorcycle model.

While the contact breaker is “closed” or linked to earth, present is flow from the battery confident terminal come earth. The present flowing v the primary ignition coil sets increase a magnetic field.

When the engine rotation reaches the ideal place, the cam starts to rotate around and opens the breaker points, and the present flow from the battery to earth attempts to flow as the points gap opens. Right here is an exploded diagram the a Harley Davidson breaker points assembly.

Exploded view, contact breaker assembly, usual Harley DavidsonExploded view, call breaker assembly, usual Harley Davidson

The condenser has a an extremely important duty here. The existing flowing in the major circuit would tend to arc across the breaker space as that opens, and dissipate every the energy in the major coil. The condenser absorbs the current and also brings the circulation to a quick stop.

When the present stops quickly, the magnetic ar in set up by the main coil collapses. The relocating magnetic field induces a existing in the an additional windings in the ignition coil. Because the second winding has a great many more windings 보다 the primary, the induced voltage is really high, perhaps approximately 15,000 volts. The second coil is linked to the spark plug. This very high voltage is sufficient to make an arc jump throughout the spark plug gap.

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The power in the an additional winding dissipates together the spark plug fires, and the present stored in the condenser discharges ago through the main circuit. The process is ready to start again top top the following ignition rotation that the engine.